Serbia warns Kosovo army will substantially worsen tensions

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia’s president has warned that the planned forming of a Kosovo army will significantly worsen tensions in the region.

Kosovo’s parliament is expected to approve on Friday legislation turning an existing 4,000-strong security force into an expanded, lightly armed army.

After his talks with the head the U.N. mission in Kosovo on Thursday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that while Serbia will “do its best to preserve peace and stability,” the “illegal” formation of the Kosovo army will “substantially worsen” tensions in the region.

Serbia alleges that the army’s main purpose is to ethnically cleanse Kosovo’s Serbian-dominated north, a claim strongly denied by Pristina.

Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence is not recognized by Serbia.

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